Magazine article Church & State

Controversial Craft Store Owner Lobbies for Bible Course in Okla

Magazine article Church & State

Controversial Craft Store Owner Lobbies for Bible Course in Okla

Article excerpt

An Oklahoma school district is under fire from Americans United and other groups after it approved the use of a Bible curriculum designed by Steve Green, the controversial owner of the Hobby Lobby chain of craft stores.

Mustang High School will begin offering Green's curriculum through an elective course in the next academic year. This curriculum is designed to correspond with Green's planned Museum of the Bible, which is currently under construction in Washington, D.C.

Jerry Pattengale, who heads the Green Scholars Initiative and is overseeing the curriculum's development, said the ultimate goal is put the curriculum in "thousands" of schools.

Not much is known yet about the details of the curriculum, but in a 2013 speech Green delivered to the National Bible Association, he explained that it is divided into three sections: the history of the Bible, the story of the Bible and the impact of the Bible.

Americans United's position is that classes about the Bible don't necessarily violate the First Amendment, but teachers have to be careful to present the Bible without proselytizing or interpreting it the way fundamentalists do.

Unfortunately it appears that Green doesn't intend to present the Bible in an objective way.

"The history is to show the reliability of this book," he told his audience during the speech last year. "When you present the evidence, the evidence is overwhelming."

It also seems it's no coincidence that the curriculum is intended for high school students. …

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